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Amedeo, a historical novel

by Mark Nassutti

WA

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My family history meanders through war and peace, wealth and want, and the occasional episode of happiness.  Most painful for me have been the loss of a child and the resulting conflict and estrangement.  Several years ago, I started asking questions that began with “why?” I found a thread of family conflict and estrangement across generations.  For example, my Italian grandfather, Umberto, and his brother Amedeo, became estranged in their 30s and never spoke again.  Why?  The facts available are few, so I began speculating. 

So was born this historical novel, an emotional thriller titled “Amedeo.”  It’s about two brothers at the end of World War II, estranged in their 30s and then, 20 years later, faced with life-threatening dangers.  One brother is marked for death.  The other is in a position to save him, but only at the risk of his own life.

I have a manuscript 80% complete.  To finish it, I need time for research to gather the historical details that enrich a novel set in a different time and place, in this case Trieste, a port city in northeastern Italy.   I also need time to revise and polish, something that requires near-total concentration; I have to carry the whole novel in my head as I consider its organization and track all the characters and threads of the plot so they come together well at the climax.

While my goal for this novel is to create a great story, my mission as a writer is to help people think differently about their families.  I write about three threads of life that affect intimate relationships:  family finances, politics, and how people deal with death. By showing how my characters wrestle with these issues, I hope I can help others examine their own histories.

Achieving these goals will take time.  My proposal seeks funding to pay for direct expenses of conducting research in Trieste (travel, accommodations, translation assistance, about $3,000/month) and at least partially offset the suspension of my day job for up to six months.  I’ve already self-funded two research trips to Trieste (with the help of a $1,500 grant from Artist Trust). Once funded, I would go to Trieste for a final round of archival research.  I would then complete my manuscript. 

Please support this project.  At the minimum goal of $10,000, I can complete the research and finish the manuscript.  Additional funds would be used to further refine the book and, based on the success of the trailer you can find elsewhere, begin development of a screenplay.

This is a team effort:  there are people on both sides of the Atlantic including librarians, professors, museum curators, people I’ve interviewed, fellow writers, friends and family members who’ve slogged through my rough draft.  Won’t you join us?  We would be honored by your contribution.  Whether you read my story as an emotional thriller or as a study of a family across multiple generations, I am confident that you will emerge more than satisfied with the experience.

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    • November 24, 2012 Egbune Cheche Community Member

      We shall get there.